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Unions and the CityNegotiating Urban Change$
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Ian Thomas MacDonald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501706547

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501706547.001.0001

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Organized Labor and Casino Politics in Toronto

Organized Labor and Casino Politics in Toronto

(p.53) 2 Organized Labor and Casino Politics in Toronto
Unions and the City

Steven Tufts

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines labor's role in a public battle over the siting of a casino in Toronto, which played out among different levels of government, real estate developers, casino corporations, and anti-casino community groups. While labor support for a new downtown casino was contingent and fragmented, it remains a fact that significant unions were strongly behind development, and even public sector unions that opposed it in the later stages of the debate had some contradictory interests. When capital and the state consider divisive development proposals, there is greater opportunity for actors such as labor and community groups to be deciding factors. Yet such opportunities to shape municipal politics and development still require discipline and solid strategy. It is not only the loss of casino and construction jobs for some unions that is relevant here, but also the failure of local organized labor to exercise power in a decisive manner at a moment when the opportunity presented itself.

Keywords:   Toronto, casino corporations, anti-casino community groups, real estate developers, labor unions, municipal politics, casino jobs, local organized labor

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